Are Smelly Lunch Bans The Sign Of A Healthy Office Culture?

Our poll earlier in the week about eating breakfast in the office made two things clear: lots of Lifehacker readers do it, and there’s a small minority who object to it because they think it saps productivity or they can’t stand the sound of people crunching cereal. Presumably people in the latter category work in a company with less pronounced rules than BHP, which bans the consumption of any food deemed smelly on the premises and doesn’t allow people to eat at their PCs.

Picture by stuart_spivack

BHP’s policies are outlined in an article at the Sydney Morning Herald, which also reveals bans on the use of iPads or leaving Post-It notes stuck to monitors. In part, they reflect an itinerant workplace where hotdesking is the norm. You don’t want to come into an unfamiliar office and discover spaghetti sauce all over your keyboard. Stepping away from your PC to eat lunch is also a good idea, but not always practical if you’ve got an insane deadline to meet.

Good manners would also suggest that not eating anchovy-laden pizza in the office is wise, but the need for a formal policy doubtless varies depending on the environment. Does your office have fixed rules for this sort of thing, or does it rely on people doing the right thing? Tell us in the comments.

No smelly lunches: BHP’s strict staff rules [SMH]

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